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Seasoning the Sonnet, Playing Poets: The "Sonnet Slam" as Extrapedagogical Event

Seasoning the Sonnet, Playing Poets: The "Sonnet Slam" as Extrapedagogical Event Few teachers would deny that a working familiarity with and appreciation of the sonnet can be invaluable assets for students studying Renaissance English literature. This is not simply because of the “little song’s” ubiquity as both mode and theme in the work of canonized figures from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries like Sidney, Spenser, Donne, Milton, Wroth, and of course Shakespeare, but also because it can be a gateway to understanding a significant part of Renaissance social conditions, politics, aesthetics, and culture. Fully grasping, for example, the despair in the ending couplet of Wyatt’s “My Galley” — “Drowned is reason that should me consort, / And I remain despairing of the port” — requires among other things a sense of Wyatt’s uncertain status as a courtier seeking patronage from the patently unpredictable Henry VIII. Effectively explicating the tortured syntax and troubling similitude in the fortieth sonnet of Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus — “False hope which feeds but to destroy, and spill / What it first breeds; unnatural to the birth / Of thine own womb; conceiving but to kill, / And plenty gives to make the greater death” — demands an understanding of the complicated gender dynamics of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Duke University Press

Seasoning the Sonnet, Playing Poets: The "Sonnet Slam" as Extrapedagogical Event

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2007 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1531-4200
eISSN
1533-6255
DOI
10.1215/15314200-2006-033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Few teachers would deny that a working familiarity with and appreciation of the sonnet can be invaluable assets for students studying Renaissance English literature. This is not simply because of the “little song’s” ubiquity as both mode and theme in the work of canonized figures from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries like Sidney, Spenser, Donne, Milton, Wroth, and of course Shakespeare, but also because it can be a gateway to understanding a significant part of Renaissance social conditions, politics, aesthetics, and culture. Fully grasping, for example, the despair in the ending couplet of Wyatt’s “My Galley” — “Drowned is reason that should me consort, / And I remain despairing of the port” — requires among other things a sense of Wyatt’s uncertain status as a courtier seeking patronage from the patently unpredictable Henry VIII. Effectively explicating the tortured syntax and troubling similitude in the fortieth sonnet of Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus — “False hope which feeds but to destroy, and spill / What it first breeds; unnatural to the birth / Of thine own womb; conceiving but to kill, / And plenty gives to make the greater death” — demands an understanding of the complicated gender dynamics of

Journal

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and CultureDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2007

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